United Kingdom

The UK Policy Agendas Project  is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Peter John(UCL) is principal investigator, Will Jennings (University of Southampton) and Darren Halpin(Aarhus University) are co-investigators. Shaun Bevan (MZES, University of Mannheim) is Research Associate on the project, coordinating data collection and analyses. Anthony Bertelli (University of Southern California) is a Visiting Fellow on the project. The project seeks to develop systematic measures of the policy agenda of British government and politics over time. Our datasets are freely available for public use and we encourage anyone interested either in using the data or applying the policy content coding system to create measures of other aspects of British public policy to get in contact with us. At present, data collected for the project includes:

  •  The Speech from the Throne, also know as the Queen’s Speech, 1911-2010.
  • Acts of UK Parliament, 1911-2008.
  • Prime Minister’s Questions, 1997-2008.
  • Frontpage headlines of The Times of London, 1960-2008,.
  • Public expenditure by function, 1910-2007.
  • Bills and Hearings of the Scottish Parliament, 1999-2008.
  • Public opinion about the ‘most important problem facing the country’, 1959-2010.

All data is available in its most current form through the project’s data page.

The project has received research funding and support from the British Academy (through the BA small grant ‘The Policy Priorities of UK Governments: a Content Analysis of King’s and Queen’s speeches, 1945-2005′) and the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (RES-062-23-0872), as well as from the University of Manchester through Peter John’s Hallsworth Chair of Governance and Will Jennings Hallsworth Research Fellowship, and the London School of Economics and Political Science (through Will Jennings’ research funds there). Further support was received through Tony Bertelli’s research funds from the University of Georgia and the University of Southern California.

  • Peter John, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at School of Public Policy, University College London, UK.
  • Shaun Bevan, Research Fellow at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) at the University of Mannheim, Germany.
  • Anthony M. Bertelli, C.C. Crawford Chair in Management and Performance, School of Policy, Planning, and Development and USC Gould School of Law.
  • Darren Halpin, Department of Political Science and Government, Aarhus University.
  • Will Jennings, Senior Lecturer in Politics at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton, UK.

Questions about project datasets and the policy agendas content coding system should be directed to Will Jennings or Shaun Bevan. Questions about project outputs should be directed to the corresponding author of the relevant publication.

Over the course of the project we have received invaluable assistance from the many coders who worked on compiling the data for us. We are grateful to Hanhua Liu, Albert Sabater, Helen Chester, Robin Pettitt, Kate McCormick, Wasel bin Sadat, Kaylee Binding, Paul Copeland, Christopher Hughes, Rebecca Reilly-Cooper, Thomas Purcell and Katy Allison for their work.